The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is conducting an investigation of Fort Valley State University that involves the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, but there’s been speculation and some confusion surrounding what the allegations exactly are.
It was first reported by the Atlanta Journal Constitution that the historically Black school was being investigated for hazing allegations and a possible sex ring scandal orchestrated by an employee of the school. GBI Special Agent J.T. Ricketson was giving up bits of info about the case and had talked to several news outlets about the shocking claims.
But late yesterday, Ricketson was removed from the Fort Valley investigation and chastised publicly by the GBI for talking too much to reporters and for giving up inaccurate info.
This update from the AJC read:
“A letter on Thursday to GBI Director Vernon Keenan from Chancellor Steve Wrigley said, “Ricketson has from the moment he got on the case been talking to the media. He has talked to more reporters than Fort Valley State University students and officials. Such behavior damages the quality, credibility and integrity of the investigation.”
The letter continued: “We need a professional, thorough and timely investigation conducted. Ricketson has demonstrated he cannot provide this.”
Wrigley went on to ask that the agent be removed from the case and replaced by “a professional team to complete the investigation.”
Wrigley’s complaint got the GBI’s attention. The agency sent Wrigley a letter Thursday that said control of the investigation was being moved up the chain of command.
“I have elevated the case to the command staff level of our investigative division,” GBI Director Vernon Keenan wrote. An inspector who reports directly to the deputy director will oversee the case.”
Keenan said that there would be a complete and thorough investigation of the claims.
So as of now, there is no official confirmation that the investigation is about hazing or sexual abuse claims – only that there is an ongoing investigation.
While social media is buzzing with talk about the scandalous allegations involving the well-respected sorority, AKA officials are taking these claims seriously and say they have launched their own independent investigation.
“We were appalled to learn of allegations of sexual misconduct against a Fort Valley State University employee who also is a graduate member of the sorority. These allegations are in no way representative of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority’s 110-year service-based mission or its nearly 300,000 members,” a statement said. “We condemn these allegations in the strongest possible terms. We remain dedicated to our mission to encourage high scholastic and ethical standards, promote unity, alleviate problems concerning girls and women, create opportunities for them to pursue higher education and be of service to millions of people around the world annually.”
The University put out this statement about how the investigation kicked off:
“On April 5, 2018, administrators from Fort Valley State University received two separate reports of alleged wrongdoing. One report was made anonymously as a tip on a campus complaint hotline. The second report was made separately by an employee to the campus Title IX coordinator. The USG in conjunction with FVSU began an immediate investigation in accordance with its policies.”
That employee in question has since been placed on administrative leave.